SmartMom program offers pregnancy information by text

Every week throughout her pregnancy each woman in the Northern Health region who registers for SmartMom will get texts with evidence-based tidbits to make sure mom-to-be gets the right information at the right time.

"The overall goal of the SmartMom project is to support pregnant women and their families to make evidence-informed decisions to improve health outcomes,"

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Dr. Patricia Janssen, UBC professor at the School of Population and Public Health and project co-lead said.

"SmartMom is intended for women having uncomplicated pregnancies. Messages are meant to complement prenatal advice and information provided by caregivers, not to replace it."

This free service was first developed by UBC-affiliated clinician researchers Optimal Birth B.C., the B.C. Ministry of Health, Northern Health and First Nations Health Authority. The project was created using input from pregnant women and new moms in Northern Health communities.

It piloted in September 2016 in the Omineca area, which includes Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake and Fort St. James.

Since its start, SmartMom has received lots of positive feedback.

"We've had moms tell us that SmartMom is better than any other baby apps they've used because of the specific localized information and tips," said project co-lead Randi Roy, who is Northern Health interim regional nursing lead for maternal, infant, child and youth.

Messages include links to websites, videos on topics like fetal growth and development and preparation for labour and delivery.

Participants receive three messages per week and can ask for messages about things like tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use, depression, planning a vaginal birth after caesarean delivery, nutritional support and weight management, pregnancy loss, first pregnancy after the age of 35 years and exposure to intimate partner violence.

People can enroll in the program by texting SmartMom to 12323 or by visiting www.smartmomcanada.ca.

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